Roosevelt's Stomping Grounds
This was photographed near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, named after the man that this territory had such a profound effect on. Roosevelt fell in love with the "perfect freedom" of the West, and found solitude and healing during his times here. Holding an undeniably unique character to them, Roosevelt said of the Badlands that "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." Even in the apparent desolation of such land, he also said that "I grow very fond of this place, and it certainly has a desolate, grim beauty of its own, that has a curious fascination for me."
In the end, Roosevelt's fondness for the life and land he found in the Dakotas played a large part in the development of the future president's character and his push for the conservation of natural resources.
"I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota." --Theodore Roosevelt